Monday, April 19, 2010

Amateur Hour in Party Pilipinas

Sundays are lazy days at home and I get to channel surf, immerse myself in the slambang musical numbers cooked up by ABS-CBN's "A.S.A.P.". Though I would occasionally switch to GMA's now-defunct "S.O.P.", I would eventually find my way back to the former.

Kapamilya's noontime variety is better planned and its rooster of talents is an enviable riches of the country's most popular, most talented, brightest stars. Not only that, their numbers are better choreographed, better conceptualized, well rehearsed and a lot of fun! When "S.O.P." finally folded, it felt like it was about time they do away with that show full of starlets and unknowns. In fact, every time I watch it, my family and I are always reduced to redundancy, "Sino yan? Eh sino naman yang girl na yan?" It's always the same scenario. I wouldn't mind if they match up their anonimity with real talent, but most of the time - they end up as mere lip synching trolls who sound horrendous even with recorded voices.

Then came "Party Pilipinas". They have ads in Megamall that seem to herald something new and exciting. Wow, I wanted to watch! So I did...

How was this viewing experience?

I caught a quartet of girls in white - dancing in front of a horizontal bar - Lovi Poe, Glaiza de Castro, Carla Abellana & Isabel Oli. They did this bit last week with Bianca King as one of the girls. When Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" started playing, it took the girls several seconds before they realized their number has actually started! Were they deaf? Didn't they hear the starting strains of "Bad Romance"? The girls looked at each other, not sure if they were to start or not! Their recorded voices boomed like discordant seagulls flying off to Iceland. Don't they have recording engineers to make sure these talentless gobs sound BETTER in recordings? Or are these engineers deaf themselves? For a while there, I thought they were starting a comical skit. That would be a novel idea - featuring bumbling idiots on high heels. Haha. Lip sync na nga, di pa makasayaw ng sabay o mahusay.

Choreographed numbers should focus on making sure one of the other works - lip synching or dancing? But in their case, these lovely idiots fumbled their way all through out their number. Can't sing? Can't lip sync? Can't dance? OMG! What are they doing in a Musical Variety Show - GMA's showcase of their talents! SHOWCASE! GMA's big bosses should start looking up the word "showcase" in the dictionary to fully understand its meaning - and how they should address their embarrassing musical variety extravaganza!

Not only were these girls intermittently lost, but when they found their steps, they couldn't even coordinate their movements. It was kanya kanyang kayod - "matira ang matibay". They had to cancel and reformat "S.O.P." for this god-awful world-class embarassment??!! Nursery students at St. Paul's can do a lot better!

Earlier in the program, I was transfixed watching Ogie Alcasid doing Michael Jackson's "Black or White" with new recruit Rachelle Ann Go! That really caught my attention! In the first few verses of the song, Mr. Alcasid was straining to reach : "I took my baby on a saturday bang..." His forehead forrows and his sternocleidomastoids stretch! Of course we knew that as this song progresses, the fast beat and ascending melody would not let up! The beat gets faster, the lyrics too. But it got painful listening to a veteran like Ogie groping. Wasn't his presence meant to render a degree of excellence to this maudlin array of amateur newbies? Good thing Rachelle Anne was there to actually render this degree of quality to a butchered song!

Now I have to be honest to say that I don't exactly like Ms. Go's performances in "A.S.A.P." Her vocal affectations and curlicues get too annoying sometimes, compared to the straight singing of her former colleagues in "A.S.A.P." But seeing her perform amidst low caliber artists in this new new show called "Party Pilipinas" instantly made her a gold mine! If I were to watch "Party Pilipinas" regularly, I knew I'd start liking Ms. Go! She is just a cut above the mediocre talents being fielded by GMA. And I am disappointed this had to include Mr. Alcasid's failing vocal capacity as a singer. Maybe age is catching up with him. Or just maybe, he is under-rehearsed? Note-perfect Regine Velasquez can't coach him? She has to lecture them on the importance of hitting your notes! If it's too high, don't be arrogant and switch to songs you can reach! I am sure there are millions of songs to choose from! Whatever the reason, veteran artists like Mr. Alcasid shouldn't rest on old glory. Practice still makes better performances. This would prevent further embarrassing himself alongside relatively new, but ultimately more talented exciting talents like Ms. Go who's used to singing with the best that the country can offer way back in "A.S.A.P."

Later in the show, a new talent was left to sing his alternative rock number. I recognized him as "M.E." - Miguel Escueta. I actually own his CD but has since played it once. Listening to him further aggravated my headache. As he was belting the chorus of his own song (I think it's the title track coz I kept hearing "This is me" or "I am me."), he would pull the microphone 14 inches away from his mouth, then he would stoop as though he was caught in his moment. What moment? The moment when a singer can't even sing the chorus of his very own song as it proved too high for him! Ohmygod! He shouts and still misses the note by a couple of bars! He tries again - for nought! Horrendous! New talents and their amateur skills!

Now listen here, GMA people: If the pitch of your songs are too high for your "singers", you have musicians to remedy that! Raul Mitra can play it a key lower, can't he? Don't let your artists croak with pain! It's not entertaining to your audience. Moreover, it gives the wrong expression to the young audience that it's ok to be a professional entertainer and be sintunado! Hit those notes! Don't grope, don't bear down, don't shriek! It's not a horror screamfest but a musical show, for pete's sake! At masakit din po sa tenga ng nanonood!

More importantly, I shall reiterate - "practice still makes perfect numbers"! Let your performers rehearse their numbers coz, my gosh! - their middling talents can't actually do LIVE performances! Learn from A.S.A.P.'s world-class professional performers!

If this is the kind of party you're hosting every Sunday, I'd rather hibernate in peace - than suffer!

Lovi Poe (above) and Glaiza de Castro (below)

Over at "A.S.A.P.", they've launched a new Prime Time Princess - the very beautiful Empress Schuck! I have seen this girl essay roles with sophisticated ease and sincerity and I have always known that she would one day make a lovely lead! Her time has come - and I am just too happy for her. Of course, it is going to be a "Kampanerang Kuba"-styled teleserye, but these are what people actually prefer to watch these days - brain-challenged fantaseryes! "Agua Bendita", anyone?

Good luck, Ms. Schuck! I do hope you look up to the prowess of Erich Gonzales than sappy Kim Chiu!

Empress Schuck

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